The activities of fake insurance agents and touts in the sale of third party vehicle insurance has become a great market problem begging for solution in the industry.
For decades, this worrisome scenario had lingered on, impacting negatively on both the insurance companies and the insuring public.
The counterfeiting of third party motor insurance certificatescontinues to eat deep into insurance companies’ premium and hindering road accident victims from accessing claims benefits.
According to reports, as at 2008, 90 per cent of motorists in the country were ignorantly in possession of these fake papers. However, the figure only fell to 60 per cent in some States in 2010.
The need for this ugly trend to be tackled frontally by all stakeholders in the insurance industry prompted NAICOM and other regulators like the Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA) to restate their commitments to ending fake certificate proliferation by fishing perpetrators out of their hideouts.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Fola Daniel, decrying the rate at which the fake insurance institutions were springing up, noted that the activities of fake insurance institutions in Nigeria were becoming more damaging and must be stopped if the nation’s insurance industry must move forward.
According to him, “The quest to attain expected heights and contribute more significantly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains a mirage if fake insurance institutions are allowed to perpetrate their evil deeds unabated.”
In order to further create sanity in the sector, the commission embarked on a project entitled “Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI), targeted at increasing market penetration by N1 trillion premium income in 2012 from less than N200 billion achieved in 2008.
This, according to him, will drive down the culture of insurance to the grassroots and make available insurance products to every nook and cranny of the country.
The implication of this, according to insurance experts, is that the availability of authentic insurance institutions everywhere would force fake institutions out of operation.
In its efforts at eliminating fake insurances and also instituting a robust industry database, the NIA initiated a project called, “Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID)”which is an Information Technology-based system that will facilitate easy collation and dissemination of statistics and other information relating to insurance on the one hand, and also serves as a vehicle for easy identification of genuine insurance documents by relevant authorised persons on the other hand.
The NIA chairman, Mr. Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, speaking at a press briefing recently in Lagos, said that the objective of the system was to ensure that the industry monitor and authenticates insurance transaction documents, reduces incidences of fraudulent insurance transactions and policies, most especially Motor and Marine Policies, reduces red tape and corruption by integrating with the vehicle registration system of the FRSC, police, and other relevant government agencies. The database will, in addition, ensure easy access to statistical data for effective decision making.